LAS VEGAS, Nev. — With a combined total of 17 aces, the CSU Bakersfield volleyball team got a huge lift in its scoring attack and defeated The Citadel 3-0 (26-24, 25-18, 25-13) on Saturday to conclude the UNLV Invitational. Earlier on Saturday, the Roadrunners fell to Northern Arizona 3-1 (26-28, 25-16, 25-22, 25-13) as CSUB finished the season-opening tournament with a 1-2 record.
Outside hitter Debora Araujo (Jr. Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Western Nebraska C.C.) led the way with seven of those aces, which breaks the CSUB Division I record in a three-set match. The previous best was six set by Karla Williamson in 2008. Araujo also added eight digs and seven kills. Her performance was impressive enough to earn a spot on the UNLV Invitational All-Tournament team.
After a close first set in the match against The Citadel, the ‘Runners took control of the match and never looked back on their way to their first win of the season. After head coach Jolene Shepardson said she was looking for a better performance out of CSUB’s service game, the Roadrunners delivered by outserving The Citadel 17-2.
"Even though we didn't come out on top in the end against Northern Arizona, we got better and took the first set off them. Once we got into our match with The Citadel, our fight at the net paid off because we were scoring with our block," Shepardson said. "Along with our competitive block, we got out serving game under control and we were able to take The Citadel in three sets."
Middle hitter Julia Bowen (Jr., Ottawa, Canada, Wilfrid Lauer College) served up four aces to go with seven kills, and libero Eryn Riley (So., Rancho Cucamunga, Calif., Los Osos HS) added three aces and three digs. Outside hitter Shayna Guitare (Jr., Torrance, Calif., Los Angeles Pierce College) posted a team high nine kills in the match, while freshman outside hitter Kelsee Sawyer (Temecula, Calif., Great Oak HS) recorded eight kills. Junior setter Fernanda Gonçalves (Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Western Nebraska C.C.) posted 32 assists and libero Mariah Alvidrez (R-Jr., Bakersfield, Calif., Liberty HS).
Against Northern Arizona, CSUB came out with fire and took a highly-contested first set, 28-26. The Lumberjacks responded and took the next three sets to win the match. Araujo recorded almost half of CSUB’s kills with 23 and also added six digs. Gonçalves recorded 44 assists, Guitare posted nine digs and seven kills and Molly O'Hagan (So., Tonganoxie, Kan., Tonganoxie HS) chipped in eight kills.
The ‘Runners will be back in action in the Nicholls Bayou Invitational Aug. 31 through Sept. 1 in Thibodaux, La.
"The UNLV Invitational was a good start to the season because we battled with good teams, but now our focus is on preparing for this weekend at Nicholls State," Shepardson said.